Green Party chair for Overview & Scrutiny

June 19, 2019

The Green Party, alongside the other opposition groups on Folkestone & Hythe District Council, are doing what was promised – holding the council firmly to account. Last night, our own Cllr Rebecca Shoob was appointed chair of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee with Labour’s Councillor Michelle Dorrell as vice-chair. Having an opposition member as chair of scrutiny is important and generally considered good practice but has not been the case at FHDC recently. We are grateful to Councillor Peter Gane who stated that the Conservatives would not be nominating anyone to this role.

Questions that were asked by the opposition groups this evening included some on the implementation plan for the Public Space Protection Order. Unfortunately the order itself has already been approved by cabinet so we weren’t able to recommend that the measures against begging and unauthorised camping be removed from the order but we were able to make recommendations to cabinet to include wording in the protocol for unauthorised camping to make it clear that it is not targeted at genuinely homeless vulnerable people and also to request an earlier review of the implementation. We will have to see if cabinet adopt those changes at their meeting tomorrow.

The issue of the gas safety checks that have not been carried out at East Kent Housing was also raised. We were assured that work is now under way to make sure these tests are now done and that an investigation is under way to find out how these tests were missed , to make sure no other vital checks have been missed and to make sure that this sort of situation can’t happen again.